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LinkedIn is a crucial part of any job search plan since over 90% of companies will now check you out on LinkedIn before calling you. And 100% of recruiters will source talent through LinkedIn. Here are four steps for building a great LinkedIn Profile:

1. Optimize your LinkedIn Profile for the right keywords.

When recruiters are searching for talent, you need to make sure that the search terms they use are prevalent in your LinkedIn profile. Look at job postings to identify the most important keywords and be careful about optimizing for specific titles (for example, a Vice President in one company is a Director in another and a Manager in a third, depending on size). Better to use generic titles like Financial Executive. Related: How To Keyword Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile.

2. Personalize your LinkedIn URL.

When you signed up for LinkedIn, you were assigned a LinkedIn URL that has a lot of numbers at the end. You need to change this since it is not easy to remember and makes it hard for people to find you. So, which is better?
To personalize your URL, click on the Edit Profile in the Profile drop down menu. Under your name and information, the Public Profile listing will show your current public profile URL. Choose the edit link next to it, then on the next page in the box on the right- side, select the customize URL link and fill out the box that pops up. You may want to consider adding something that supports your message, especially if you have a common name. For example, linkedin.com/in/joesmithcfo

3. Have a social tone in your Summary.

Your strategy with your LinkedIn Profile is to provide information about you in a way that makes people want to know more. Whether a potential employer or potential customer is looking at your profile, your goal is to get them to contact you so you can expand the relationship. Your Summary should be in a social conversational tone, telling your story and establishing your theme. It should NOT be the opening of your resume. For example:
I am a senior project manager with over 15 years of experience at such industry leaders as KPMG and Oracle. In fact I am the guy executives turn to when they need to turn around underperforming projects suffering from scope creep, missed due dates and excessive costs.
This style is much more compelling, easier to read and complements (not replaces) your resume. Tip: If you are unemployed or want customers to reach you, remember to put your phone number and e-mail in the summary.

4. Show selected pieces of your resume.

In your experience section, you want to show just enough of your resume to support your theme and get them to want to know more. For the most part, list roles, responsibilities, and some sample accomplishments, but leave them wanting more information about you. Remember, you want them to call you. Follow these four simple steps to get the most from your LinkedIn Profile.

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